Studies have shown: dental care is one of the best habits you can teach a child. The younger they learn to care for their teeth and overall oral health, the better life-long health habits they can develop. Dentistry for children is so important, although many parents put it off until the last second, or wait until the child is already afraid of the dentist to bring them in. Don’t make it hard on yourself! We want to make it easy for you to bring your children in, and we’ve prepared to make it the best experience for everyone possible.
Bring the child in early
Most children don’t get a full mouth of teeth until they are more than one year old, but it’s never too early to start training your baby to keep their mouth clean! Infants are prone to putting everything in their mouth, which means you run around disinfecting everything. But, it also means it can be easy to get them to chew on a toothbrush – whether you put a little paste on it or not.
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Bringing a child with you to a dental appointment can get them familiar with the office, the machinery, the people in face masks – all of which can be scary for a small child. If they are allowed to observe an appointment or two for someone else they will be far less afraid when they are in for their own appointment.
Children’s mouths are small
One of the reasons that today’s dentistry for children has become so specialized is that because children’s mouths are so incredibly small compared to adult mouths. This means that the tools, the equipment, and the portions of materials used in adults mouths simply won’t work. A family dentist that caters to children of all ages will have smaller sizes of the tools that go into patients’ mouths, to make it easier and more comfortable to clean those tiny teeth. We also have milder formulas for cleaning products, different flavors that cater to kids, and little tools and tricks to make it easier for older kids to begin excellent habits like flossing and using mouthwash.
Children love to play so much that sometimes it can be hard to get them to sit still in a chair. Dental practitioners who work with kids know this, and they’ve developed a ton of techniques to capture kids’ attention. Today’s dentistry for children have interesting animated videos that the child might watch during their teeth cleaning, fun and interactive models of teeth that the child can play with, or textured books that the child can read and learn about oral health.
These kinds of fun distractions can make it easy for the child to feel rewarded and feel like they’re having fun while they’re doing something they may initially have been afraid of. In addition, the most experienced dentists who work with kids may come up with some fun verbal games to keep the kids in the chair, or some fun games to paly when brushing their teeth.
Distracting kids from how boring or scary a dental visit can be is one of the reasons that dentists who work with kids are highly specialized.
Rewards for Kids
Of course, every kid loves to get a sucker or a sticker at the end of their dental visit. Not only do kids of all ages love to take home their goody-bag that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and maybe a fun sticker or two, kids love the reward of being told they did a great job. When a specialist in dentistry for children is really great at what they do, they’ll come up with clever and unique ways to reward your kid for a job well done, on every visit.
Specialists in Kids Problems
One of the benefits of taking your child to a dentist who specializes in kids is that they will be most familiar with the most common issues that kids face. While brushing and cleaning are always a concern, there are many other problems that can develop as kids lose teeth and new teeth grow in, including crowding, compacting, or even infections. Children who suffer injuries to their mouth can deal with unique issues and an office that specializes in dentistry for children will know exactly what to do and have the right tools to help that child.